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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Robinson confidently leading A&M through final stretch of the season

November 13, 2023
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The man who could be the key to Texas A&M football’s near future — and maybe distant future — got off to an impressive start on Monday.

Wearing a maroon-and-gray plaid sports jacket with Texas A&M logo and Terry Price memorial ‘TP’ lapel pins, Elijah Robinson looked and sounded like a strong head coach at Texas A&M’s weekly press conference.

The 38-year-old Robinson on Sunday was named interim head coach in place of dismissed Jimbo Fisher. He’ll lead the Aggies (6-4) in the final two regular season games and a bowl game.

When asked who would start at quarterback on Saturday against Abilene Christian — Max Johnson or Jaylen Henderson — Robinson responded the way so many successful coaches would.

He delegated to his offensive coordinator.

“Coach (Bobby) Petrino has a great resume. I trust and believe in everything he decides to do moving forward with the offense,” Robinson said. “Whether Max is available or not or Jaylen is available or not, I trust coach Petrino to do the right thing for these players and for this program to make sure that we have the best situation to win.”

Johnson had made five consecutive starts, but was sidelined by injury last week. Henderson made his first career start and accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) in a 52-10 victory over Mississippi State.

Robinson’s value to Texas A&M far exceeds the result of the remaining games on the schedule this season.

“When I talked to the team and addressed them about the transition I thought those guys handled it very well. Those guys embraced me. I think those guys were not happy about everything that happened. They understood that what happened happened.”
- A&M interim head coach Elijah Robinson

He could be on what will surely be a long, impressive list of candidates to replace Fisher. Robinson, who is extremely popular with the players, could also be the key to just how talented a roster Fisher’s replacement will inherit.

The transfer portal opens Dec. 4. Rival programs reportedly have already reached out to poach A&M’s talented roster.

Whether as head coach or remaining as associate head coach/defensive line on another coach’s staff, Robinson’s presence would seemingly provide A&M the best chance to retain top players.

That is, if he wants to remain in College Station in some capacity.

He did not respond when asked if he would formally apply for the head coach position, but made it clear he’d like to remain at A&M where he’s coached since 2018.

“This has been the place I’ve been the longest outside of my alma mater,” Robinson said. “When me and my family moved here we fell in love with being here. My wife loves it here. My kids love being here. So do I.

“I’m not looking to leave Texas A&M. I would love to be here.”

The players would love for him to stay, too. They reportedly celebrated enthusiastically on Sunday when informed he was named interim head coach.

“When I talked to the team and addressed them about the transition I thought those guys handled it very well,” Robinson said. “Those guys embraced me. I think those guys were not happy about everything that happened. They understood that what happened happened.

“I think they’re ready to move forward as far as seeing what’s next. That’s the mentality to have. I’m forever grateful for every guy in that room and the way they embraced me after the news broke.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Elijah Robinson arrived in Aggieland in January 2018 following stops at Baylor, Temple and Penn State.

It’s not just the players in the room that have embraced Robinson. Five-star rated defensive lineman prospect Dominick McKinley‍, who has verbally committed to Texas A&M, on Sunday tweeted: “I’m behind (coach Robinson) 100 percent. Not going anywhere.”

Meanwhile, Robinson’s career has been going places ever since he accepted an offer to be a graduate assistant at Penn State, his alma mater, in 2006.

Like most players, he’d hoped to play professional football. An injury ended that dream, but opened other opportunities

He coached at Penn State until 2013. He then went to Temple from 2014-16. In 2017, Robinson coached the defensive line at Baylor.

He then joined Fisher’s staff as defensive line coach in 2018. He was named assistant head coach in 2022.

It was when he was a graduate assistant he realized he belonged in coaching.

“In my process of being a GA I realized I was making more of an impact being a coach and being around young men and making them understand that one day that dream may not come true of playing at the next level,” he said.

“But there are still other avenues and ways you can still live your dream, make a living for yourself, make an impact on people’s lives and take care of your family. I think I got that coaching bug when I got that opportunity.”

Robinson now has another opportunity at A&M. He said he’ll be reminding players who may be unsure what to do next that A&M will provide them with opportunities, too.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Under Robinson’s tutelage, A&M’s entire starting defensive line signed NFL contracts in 2021.

“When these guys decided to come to school here I think it wasn’t just about football,” he said. “They understand what this place can do for them for the rest of their lives. One thing we always preached was this is not a four-year decision, but a 40-year decision.

“So, I’m just going to encourage those guys that ‘Listen, no matter what the football part of this thing is, think about your life. Because you’re not going to play this game forever.’ One thing they say is Aggies take care of Aggies. I would not be looking to run out of this place understanding that for the rest of my life I’ll be taken care of.”

Of course, Robinson wants to take care of business on the field, too.

Three of A&M’s losses were by less than a touchdown to ranked opponents. The Aggies had the lead in the second half of those games.

Fisher lamented the Aggies’ inability to “find the inches” needed to make pivotal plays that make the difference between winning and losing.

Robinson is ready to take over the fight of those inches.

“Fighting for the inches … that’s real,” he said. “We have a group of guys that will do everything possible to gain that inch.

“We’re going to do everything possible to make sure our guys can do what’s necessary to get that inch.”

Discussion from...

Robinson confidently leading A&M through final stretch of the season

21,081 Views | 13 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by andrews372
4into5
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He is exactly the right man for the job!
bulverdeaggie93
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AG
his next 3-4 weeks he's interviewing to stay on the next staff… but he won't be HC… but the Board could easily tell the next HC that E Rob is the ONE holdover who must stay.
jograki
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AG
Fantastic presser. He says all the right things. I hope we can consider him for the job!
dddvm
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I`m proud that this man will be leading us these next few weeks.
sharpdressedman
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Very impressive! I understand why the players relate so positively to him. Best of luck, coach!
Blaser270
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bulverdeaggie93 said:

his next 3-4 weeks he's interviewing to stay on the next staff… but he won't be HC… but the Board could easily tell the next HC that E Rob is the ONE holdover who must stay.
That shouldn't even be an issue. The job he's done with the defensive line is beyond phenomenal. I'd have serious doubt about any HC that didn't want him to stay.
vin diesel
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He's the real deal
Wrecking Crew 21
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Couldn't have a better man in charge!
Aggie 63
Sarge 77
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torrid
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AG
Always better to promote from within rather than hire an outsider for big $ with no ties to the program.
merch
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How could you not like Robinson? Excited to have him as the leader!
P.U.T.U
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AG
merch said:

How could you not like Robinson? Excited to have him as the leader!
I like what he said at his press conference but results matter more than words. He has never been a coordinator, is young, and is walking into one of the highest stress college football jobs there is. I hope for the best for him but my expectations are low.

On the flip side he has Petrino and Durkin who both ran college programs for a few years to mentor him. Both have had issues on and off the field that some fans would frown upon them taking over the program so he is the safest option we have. He will not be shredding water on his own.

Let Petrino run his offense how he likes, Durkin can run the defense to match that scheme, and Robinson can make the major game time decisions like when to go for it.
andrews372
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I'd run with ERob, fire Adazio NOW! And run it back
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